326 LIFE OF Hiimboldt writes to Scliiller : cc Home, 27th August. I -write to you, dear friend, "with a sad heart. I may say that, since I live? the first misfortune has befallen me, but this first blow is almost the severest that could have come." His eldest son, "Wilhelm., had been suddenly carried off by a malignant fever. The child had scarcely been ill a few days. .A slight attack of fever was followed by violent bleeding of the nose. The family was in Ariccia, but Dr. TCohlrausch—a doctor who did not perhaps merit such confidence— •was with them. He did what he could, but in thirty- six hours the boy fell a victim to the violence of the attack. cc His d^ath "—so writes his afflicted father— cc was calm3 very calm ; he had cheerful dreams,—did not suffer nor expect death. He now lies at the foot of the pyramid of Caius Cestus^ "which Ooethe can describe to you. I have lost very much with this child. Among them all, he was most fond of being: with, me ; he scarcely ever left me., particularly during- the last few months ; I occupied myself regularly with liino ; he always walked with me, asked about every- thing, knew most of the localities and the rains, and was every one's favourite, because he spoke with all, and in tolerably good Italian. Now this is all gone ! This death has robbed me of all my confidence in life. I trust no more to my fortune., to fate, to the strength of events. If this impetuous, blooming^ strong life could be extinguished so suddenly, what then is certain ? And., on the other hand, I have all at once gained an infinite conviction : I never feared death, nor had a childish love of life ; but if a being we love is dead, the sensation is different. We think ourselves at home in two worlds/' Immediately after this blow3 the family hastened to the town, for a similar misfortune threatened another child. The yocmgear boy, Theodor, was attacked by the same illness^ a severe brain fever, only -with less suddenly dangerous1 symptoms^ IFor three days his recovery was despaired of, but he WHS savecL It may •be ina^ioied itoir much the anxious mother suffered.